Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

December 16, 2013

The Texas A&M University Board of Regents on Saturday named Mark Hussey as interim president of the system's flagship campus at College Station, The Texas Tribune reported. Hussey, dean of agriculture and life sciences, has strong support on the campus and from the system administration. But his selection wasn't a sure thing when Governor Rick Perry, a Republican who has appointed all of the regents, backed another candidate, Guy Diedrich, the system's vice chancellor for strategic initiatives.

December 16, 2013

The Obama administration on Friday announced that it had convinced nearly 1,956 colleges and universities to adopt its financial aid “shopping sheet” -- a standardized template aimed at allowing students to easily compare the aid packages they are offered from different institutions. The administration has more than doubled since this summer the number of colleges committed to using the voluntary templates. In July, officials said that about 700 colleges had opted to use the shopping sheet in its first year.

The institutions that will now be using the forms enroll more than 43 percent of undergraduate students in the United States, an Education Department official said in a blog post. The department also announced Friday that it was making minor changes to the shopping sheet. The new version, will clarify that a university’s median borrowing statistic listed on the form only captures students who borrow at the institution. The revised shopping sheet will also feature a glossary of financial aid terms and an expanded customizable box where institutions can provide more individualized information about a student.  

December 16, 2013

The University of Colorado at Denver has placed Resa Cooper-Morning on leave from her job as cultural diversity coordinator in the ethnic studies department after a local news station reported that she was operating a phone sex business from her office. CBS4 broadcast information about her website promoting the business, and the university said it was taking the allegations "very seriously." Cooper-Morning declined to comment.

 

December 16, 2013

A former Denison University student who was expelled over sexual assault allegations is suing the institution, claiming campus officials violated his rights and did not follow their own policies during student judicial proceedings. The Newark Advocate reports that the lawsuit charges include negligence, violation of right to an attorney, and breach of contracts. Zackary Hunt is one of at least four students this year to sue their former colleges after campus hearings addressing sexual assault accusations. The others attended Xavier and Saint Joseph’s University, and Vassar College.

December 16, 2013

Fifty-six percent of all first-time college students who enrolled in fall 2007 earned a degree or certificate within six years, and that figure rose to 78 percent for those who were enrolled exclusively full time, the National Student Clearinghouse said in a report today. Those were among the many findings contained in "Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates," the clearinghouse's second annual report on completion rates. The report includes for the first time data on dual-enrollment students -- those who were enrolled in college-level courses while still in high school.

December 16, 2013

Eastern Nazarene College has clarified its rules so that student events can now include dancing, The Patriot Ledger reported. Dancing has not been explicitly banned to date, but many thought it was because the college followed the Church of the Nazarene Manual, which forbids “all forms of dancing that detract from spiritual growth and break down proper moral inhibitions and reserve.” The college has now adopted a policy that dancing is permitted, consistent with the church manual, provided that songs are not “vulgar or overtly suggestive in nature,” and that dances “must be appropriate and not sexually suggestive."

 

December 16, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Nadine Barlow of Northern Arizona University reveals why some craters on Mars have resisted erosion. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

December 16, 2013

California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obipso announced Thursday that one of its students has been diagnosed with meningitis. The student lives off campus and officials said that they did not believe there was a problem with broad exposure on campus. The announcement comes as officials at Princeton University and the University of California at Santa Barbara grapple with multiple cases of meningitis at their institutions. Princeton gave vaccines to thousands last week. The vaccines are not the standard ones used in the United States, but a new version for a strain that is showing up at Princeton. Santa Barbara officials are considering whether they should offer the same vaccine, The Los Angeles Times reported.

December 16, 2013

Charles M. Vest, who was president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1990 until 2004, died Thursday at the age of 72. Vest, who after he left MIT became president of the National Academy of Engineering, had been fighting pancreatic cancer. Vest was widely credited with a highly successful presidency, and with being an eloquent national advocate for science. While Vest led MIT, the institute launched a project (seen by many as the precursor of the massive open online course movement) in which all course materials were made available online and free. He also supported female professors at MIT who produced a report on the obstacles facing women at the institute, and Vest's endorsement led the institute to adopt many of their proposals. A full obituary from MIT may be found here.

December 16, 2013

Members of the American Studies Association have voted to endorse a resolution backing the academic boycott of Israel. Out of a total of 1,252 votes, 66.05 percent of members endorsed the resolution, 30.5 percent rejected it, and 3.43 percent abstained. The association’s elected National Council had previously endorsed the resolution before turning the question over to members for an association-wide vote.

The American Studies Association is the second major American scholarly association, after the Association for Asian American Studies, to endorse the boycott of Israeli universities. A full story from Inside Higher Ed will appear tomorrow.

 

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